The techniques I teach stem from my own 4 decades long career as an award winning leading actor, screenwriter and filmmaker. They form a path to making "stronger choices" from a combination of long established tools by some of the greats like Uta Hagen, Stanislavski and Meisner combined with my own methods and exercises that I developed over the years.
I was blessed with a knack for it from the beginning. Many actors are. But even with 12 years of training at the outset of my career it still took me many more years to really learn some important lessons and develop the core basis of my work: making strong choices.
Looking back I can really see the difference between the characters I played relying solely on innate intuition vs the ones I invested time and work into.
Acting is like anything: you will get out of it what you put into it. Sure, some people will get famous and have a rockstar career while doing little work. People also win a million dollars in the lottery. And if you don't do the work your chances of winning the lottery are better.
And if you don't discover the unique choices and strengths you have to bring by digging deeper, you will be selling yourself short.
Because; and this is more important than anything else: you have to forget about fame and money. You cannot do it for fame and money. If you seek fame and money you will set yourself up for a life of heartbreak... even if you do "make it" and reach that goal of fame and money.
Because, for every actor who is rich and famous, there are thousands who aren't. The competition is difficult. You must be ready to be rejected. You must be content to keep fighting and trying. And even if you do make it on just raw talent you will be missing out on a deeper and more rewarding connection to what you are doing. Without that connection we tend to feel empty.
So if you forget fame and money and you do it for EVERYTHING ELSE.... you will gain a joy and a love for the craft itself that will reward you in so many ways and fill you with satisfaction. (For more on "everything else" see the sidebar)
I teach all skill levels and whether you are just starting out or already in the midst of your career: everybody has something in them unique and interesting to bring to the role and I can help you dig deep and find that excellence within you.
And if you are already involved in the business and just dabbling in considering acting classes for fun... I can tell you, as a long time professional on both sides of the camera, I have learned that all the creative disciplines in film and television open up a path of understanding to each other and inform us to make stronger choices. I commend you and encourage you to jump in.
Acting and improv classes can help many professionals better understand their own craft and look at it from a new perspective:
People seeking to build confidence
Anyone wanting help speaking long passages of text
In my classes we will equip you with the tools to discover the strongest performer in you by cultivating your most precious and unique resource: YOU.
The choices you make define you. So the choices you make for your character define your character. If you make strong, bold choices, you will portray a strong and bold performance.
I have seen it many times. Too often performers will “fly blind” or perform a scene with a level of uncertainty (not to be confused with letting go and reacting in the moment, after you have done the work).
Uncertainty undermines your confidence and makes you self conscious - the actor’s mortal enemy. When you attain a deeper understanding of what is going on in the text and the mind of the character, and why, confidence comes automatically.
It’s akin to running onto a battlefield naked and hoping to trust your instincts, vs equipping yourself with armour and weapons, first.
That’s the value of my process: I will arm you with the weapons to come up with stronger, unique choices that serve the story and intention of the text, but enable you to bring YOUR ideas and YOUR own strengths so that you can destroy the enemy.
And whether the enemy in this metaphor is insecurity, fear, self consciousness, an Oscar, the other actors in the audition room or a tough audience is up to you.
You make the choice.
-Nomintated for Best Supporting Actor Canadian Geminis 1994
-Won a Gemini in 2002 (Canada’s Hottest Star)
-Played a leading role in 5 different TV series (10 seasons)
-Began on stage at the age of 8 and appeared in my first movie at 12 ("Joshua Then and Now" starring James Woods and Alan. Arkin)
-Member of UBC, ACTRA, SAG Affiliate, WGC
-Most often recognized from Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,
the Bride of Chucky or hosting on YTV
-Have taught over 800 actors online and
received over 150 5-star reviews (and counting!)
I was chased up a tree by a zebra.
I was bitten by a cheetah.
I waded in a mud bath with a cape buffalo.
I carried a pregnant nyala through the bush silently for almost an hour.
I lived in New Zealand.
I lived in Montreal.
I lived in Toronto.
I live in Vancouver.
I toured South Africa on Safari for three months.
I've shot guns, weapons, a cannon.
I've driven everything you can imagine.
I've been showered with sparks and explosions, shot with zirks and hung from the face of 300 foot cliff.
I've filmed in caves.
I've filmed in forests.
I've filmed in the ocean.
I've filmed on a volcano.
I've filmed in the snow.
I've filmed on a horse.
I've been invited to conventions.
I've gone to conventions.
Conventions are hilariously fun.
I've been covered in latex bee stings.
I've had a cancer patient thank me for my performance.
I've had an engineer tell me I changed their life.
I've had a biker tell me he liked to watch me hosting on YTV.
I hosted a game show.
I once filmed days on one shoot and nights on another at the same time.
I've been sidekicks, villains, jokers, cowboys, an angel and even a hero once or twice.
I've heard the roar of the crowd.
I've had standing ovations.
I've worked with some amazing unknown actors.
I've worked with some amazing famous actors.
I've worked with my brother.
I got slapped in the face with a cowboy hat by a drunk David Carradine (this was not part of the scene).
I was once asked, with a fellow actor, to drive a picture canine police car across town from first unit to second unit because they didn't have any drivers and they needed to transport us and the car... so along the way we screeched into a 7-11 parking lot, ran in and yelled "has anyone seen our dog!!??"
I have auditioned so many times I cannot count (thousands).
My best performance I ever did was for a part I never got.
...It was an audition. I walked out of it thinking: I just completely lost myself in that role. It felt amazing and I just knew I had rocked the audition. They cast me in another role and when I saw the director on set months later, he told me he just had to hire me for something else because my audition was one of the best he had ever seen. But I had already known that inside myself. That was a highlight for me and I never even got the part. The immense joy I felt came from the satisfaction of successfully doing something with excellence: not from money or fame.